Panasonic Toyota Racing will have one car on row four of the grid for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix after a hard afternoon of qualifying at Sao Paulo’s Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. Following yesterday’s mixed conditions and grey skies it was hot and sunny at Interlagos today. Jarno Trulli switched to the T-car this morning and he reaped the dividends with a strong run, making it through to Q3 for the 13th time this season and securing 8th place on the grid. Ralf Schumacher had a more difficult time at this, his last qualifying session for Toyota. He safely made it through Q1 but he could not break into the final shoot-out, taking 15th on the grid for tomorrow when the sunny conditions are expected to continue. Now the team will work hard overnight as it bids to make the most of these grid positions and make progress in the last race.
Free Practice Session 3 5th Lap Time: 1m 12.461s (+0.651s) Laps: 23
Q1 8th Lap Time: 1m 13.470s (+1.167s) Laps: 7
Q2 8th Lap Time: 1m 12.832s (+0.671s) Laps: 6
Q3 8th Lap Time: 1m 13.195s (+1.264s) Laps: 12
"First of all I have to thank all the team for doing a great job. We swapped to the T-car because I wasn’t happy after yesterday’s practice sessions. So that was a big effort from them and it’s good to give them a good result today in return for that hard work. Today the car felt pretty good, and we improved the set-up. I was in P8 in all three qualifying sessions so that is where I’ll be tomorrow. The race will be interesting because managing the tyres will play a major role for the race results. So it will be important to be lucky with the tyres, hope not to have too much graining and try to live with it. We will do our best and try to give ourselves a boost as we head into the winter."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05) PROVISIONAL GRID: 15th
Free Practice Session 3 14th Lap Time: 1m 13.046s (+1.236s) Laps: 23
Q1 14th Lap Time: 1m 13.767s (+1.464s) Laps: 6
Q2 15th Lap Time: 1m 13.315s (+1.154s) Laps: 6
"I didn’t have any particular problems in Q2. The traffic was fine and the car felt reasonable enough. I just simply didn’t get it right this time which is a pity but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Tomorrow is the race and I will do the best job I can from where I am on the grid. It’s not a great place to be on the grid but we’ll see what we can do. The good thing is that it is possible to overtake here so we will do everything possible to make up ground during the race. We haven’t had many results to celebrate lately but we will push for a better day to finish off the year."
Pascal Vasselon – Senior General Manager Chassis
"When the grid is so tight you always end up with some regret about plus or minus one lap for strategy, but this result is not bad given what we have planned for tyre management tomorrow. That is obviously the main story of the weekend because today we saw exceptional conditions with both graining and blistering on some cars. Usually you have one or the other but this morning we had both together. So the race will be interesting from this point of view and we should see different ways to try and handle the tyre situation. In Q3 Jarno did a good job and P8 is a reasonable result. Ralf had trouble putting the sector times together in Q2 and he ended up missing the cut. But we have one more night to think about the best strategy for him. We can probably make up ground from where he is so we will now head to tomorrow chasing the highest possible finish with both cars."